For those of you who didn’t happen to see it, Tom Perkins, the heir to the Perkins Pickles empire, penned a very nice piece for AnnArbor.com about the work of the Ann Arbor Awesome Foundation. I’d highly recommend reading the whole article, which is really quite good. Here, however, for those of you who refuse to follow links, is how it begins.
Ann Arbor-based photographer Bill Streety has spent years pointing his camera lens at local blues and jazz legends.
Now, with the help of a $1,000 grant from the Ann Arbor Awesome Foundation, Streety will self-publish a book of photos of those musicians that he will donate to local schools, libraries and the bands themselves.
Then he plans to spin off a Web site of the photos that includes the bands’ bios, extra photos, and more information on the groups, which include Bluescasters, BDI Blues Band, Lady Sunshine and the X Band, Chris Canas, Paul Keller, Mr. B and more.
Streety said he is pleased to be able to document the work and the lives of musicians who sometimes play in obscurity but have fascinating stories behind their lives. Some played with legends such as Smokey Robinson and the Stylistics, and all “did live the dream and their passion for their music burns deep.”
He says he wants to give these musicians some acknowledgement and their 15 minutes of fame with a small run of books.
“These are folks who have a passion for the music,” he said. “They’ll come out and give 110 percent whether there is 25 or 250 people watching. They all have day jobs, this is not how they make their living, but it’s fun for them and they are extremely talented.”
He said he was thrilled when he learned A2Awesome was supporting his cause.
“You can’t even imagine my surprise that they thought my idea was awesome. That was really cool! I couldn’t believe it!” he said.
Last month, the A2 Awesome Foundation awarded three $1,000 grants “toward the creation of awesomeness in the Ann Arbor – Ypsilanti area,” which also included funding for performance artist Trevor Stone and 826michigan’s Amanda Uhle…
For those of you who are interested in learning more about these three most recent projects which we’ve funded, you can find my post, which includes video of each of the recipients talking about how they intend to use the money, here.
And, if you’ve got a brilliant idea of your own for something that could be accomplished for $1,000, and significantly raise the local awesome index, fill out our online application and let us know about it. Our next deadline is the last day of November, at midnight.
Oh, and you can “friend” the A2Awesome on Facebook, by clicking here.